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Love Will Tear Us Apart
Song

Love Will Tear Us Apart

Joy Division
Album:

Song Meaning & Background to Love Will Year Us Apart by Joy Division


The zenith of Joy Division's gloomy Mancunian post-punk vision still pricks you in the heart like an ice pick.


Singer Ian Curtis, who was distraught over his failing marriage and epilepsy, actually came up with the song's title as a sardonic parody of Captain and Tenille's 1975 hit single "Love Will Keep Us Together."


In a suitably eerie move, he even recorded it in the same studio. Guitarist Bernard Sumner observed that Ian's influence "seemed to be madness and insanity."


The fact that the song was Joy Division's final single and was released weeks after Curtis died by suicide makes the song's eerie chorus all the more moving.


At a Joy Division gig in October 1979, Curtis met Belgian music journalist and music promoter Annik Honoré and the two began a relationship, which caused further distress between Curtis and Woodruff.

Speaking about her relationship with Curtis, Honoré stated in a 2010 interview with Belgian magazine supplement Focus:


‘It was a completely pure and platonic relationship, very childish, very chaste… I did not have a sexual relationship with Ian. He was on medication, which rendered it a nonphysical relationship. I am so fed up that people question my word or his. People can say whatever they want, but I am the only person to have his letters… One of his letters says that the relationship with his wife Deborah had already finished prior to us meeting each other.’


Guitar Chords and Lyrics of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division


[Intro]

Dsus4

 

A Em D Dsus4 D Dmaj9 Bm A (x2)

 

[Verse 1]

     Em                  D Dsus4 D Dmaj9

When routine bites hard

      Bm                 A

And ambitions are low

      Em                 Dsus4

And resentment rides high

     Bm                  A

But emotions won't grow

          Em                 Dsus4

And we're changing our ways

       Bm                A

Taking different roads

 

[Chorus]

     Em    D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

Then love, love will  tear us   apart again

Em    D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A        Em D Dsus4 D Dmaj9 Bm A

Love, love will  tear us   apart again

 

[Verse 2]

           Em               Dsus4

Why is the bedroom so cold

        Bm          A

Turned away on your side

      Em                    Dsus4

Is my timing that flawed

       Bm          A

Our respect run so dry

            Em                Dsus4

Yet there's still this appeal

           Bm               A

That we've kept through our lives

 

[Chorus]

    Em    D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

And love, love will  tear us   apart again

Em    D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

Love, love will  tear us   apart again

 

[Instrumental]

A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A

 

A Em D Dsus4 D Dmaj9 Bm A (x2)

 

[Verse 3]

           Em                Dsus4

Do you cry out in your sleep

       Bm                 A

All my failings exposed

      Em                  Dsus4

Get a taste in my mouth

        Bm           A

As desperation takes hold

      Em                  Dsus4

Is it something so good

           Bm          A

Just can't function no more

 

[Outro]

Em    D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

When love, love will tear us apart again

D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

Love, love will tear us apart again

D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

Love, love will tear us apart again

D    Dsus4 D    Dmaj9 Bm    A

Love, love will tear us apart again


Release Date

1980

Songwriter/s

Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner

Producer/s

Martin Hannett, Joy Division

Label/s

Factory

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